Rebuild the Icon Cache in Windows Vista and Windows 7
I recently purchased a new desktop computer to replace the 8 year old desktop I was previously using. The previous desktop had served me well for those 8 years, and had been running Windows XP without any problems. It had begun to show its age recently, however; so I bought myself a new one.
My new desktop included Windows 7 Professional installed (I didn’t want Vista), which I so far have enjoyed using. I did run into a minor problem recently where some of the icons for specific file types went missing. While this didn’t stop the application from loading, it was a little annoying as it was a bit difficult to tell two shortcuts apart. Luckily, it is easy to delete and rebuild the icon cache.
Rebuilding the Icon Cache
I have had problems with the icon cache in the past, and have had to delete the file and have Windows rebuild it. If you are on Windows Vista or Windows 7, you can use the following steps to rebuild the cache for your icons.
- Close down any open windows on your desktop.
- Next, open the Task Manager by pressing “CTRL+SHIFT+ESC” or right-clicking the taskbar and selecting “Task Manager”.
- First, we will close the explorer process so we can refresh the icon cache. Click the “Process” tab, and then right-click “explorer.exe” and select “End Process”. Your desktop and taskbar should disappear, don’t worry we will get them back.
- Once the explorer process has closed, from the Task Manager, click “File->New Task (Run)…”.
- Type “cmd.exe” and click the “OK” button.
- In the command window, type the following and then press ENTER:
cd /d %userprofile%\AppData\Local
- Next, we will delete the icon cache file. To delete the file, enter this command followed by pressing ENTER:
del IconCache.db /a
- Now we will close the command window by typing the following command and pressing ENTER:
- Back in the the Task Manager, click “File->New Task (Run)…”.
- Type “explorer.exe” to reload your desktop and taskbar. The icons should now be refreshed and displaying properly.